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5 ways thought leaders can get there faster

From the back of the envelope to the back of the check – 5 ways thought leaders can get there faster.

What I’ve found to be interesting in my many years of working with authors, thought leaders and speakers is that most (not all) are amazing at ideating and creating new ideas, models and theories.  It’s actually a thing of beauty for me to watch them sketch out their latest thinking on the back of an envelope or a white board.  It’s typically well thought out and the impact of these ideas if unleashed at an enterprise level could have astounding ramifications for individuals, teams and organizations.

Astounding change resulting from a world-renowned thought leader’s great idea is not an everyday occurrence.  Breakthroughs don’t happen often.  In order to effectively leverage and monetize great content here are a few things a thought leader needs to do.  If you can execute these well you can move from the back of the envelope to signing the back of large checks quicker and more often.

5 ways thought leaders can get there faster

Have you validated your model?

Just because you think it is so doesn’t mean it is so.  What have you done to validate your model?  Have you tested it?  Have you broken it down it competencies?  Invest the time and energy into validating your model.


Have you gotten input from potential buyers?

Creating in isolation has many risks associated with it. You want to engage with potential buyers and users of your offerings early and often.  Gaining insight into their needs is critical and it actually accelerates the buying process by creating supporters and fans.  Co-creation and pre-mortems are powerful and should be used as often as possible.


Is it easy to use and process?

We are all busy and have been spoiled by sleek and user friendly interfaces.  While not all content can be as easy to use as an iPhone, it does need to be easy to process and understand.  It’s easier to keep things complex (for the thought leader) but burdening the end user will impact the stickiness of your content.


Is it clear what the impact and benefits are?

It may be crystal clear in your mind how the world would be a better place if people mastered your work but you need to meet the users where they are.  What’s the benefit to them on an individual level?  A team level and an organizational level?  Spend the energy to document the impact upfront and speak to it throughout the process of rolling out your content.


How do you make it sustainable?

Ultimately, to succeed in the content space your work needs to change behaviors that drive business results.  Enterprise clients do not want a quick post-session spike; they want a sustainable and measurable change that is directly connected to key business metrics.

The back of the envelope may be your comfort zone, your sweet spot actually, but getting to a place where your work can be rolled out across an organization requires more then a sketch or an interactive whiteboard session.  The rewards are worth it and you’ll actually get used to (rather quickly) signing the backs of checks more often.

Peter Winick has deep expertise in helping those with deep expertise. He is the CEO of Thought Leadership Leverage. Visit Peter on Twitter!

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